Jul 28, 2006

My experiences in New York.

The things I like most about exploring a city are usually insignificant to most people. I usually stop to watch, smell, sometimes taste what I'm experiencing. I took small clips of video while I was in NY. Click the image, above, to download the short video.

Or click here. (12.7MB)


Jul 24, 2006

I'm back in this little town...

Chinatown in NYC.

Yep. I said "little town". Baltimore is much, much smaller to me now that I've spent another weekend in NYC.

Saturday morning at 11am my buss reached Chinatown. I stepped out into the ambient hum of foreign languages. As I pulled my bike from under the bus and cinched my bag tight to my back, a sea of people flowed around me. I felt like an exposed rock jutting up out of the middle of a river. Fish, fruit & vegetable stands lined the sidewalks while yellow cabs, busses and bicycles hustled past me on the streets. Pigeons swooped and glided above me and melted ice water trickled under my feet. I stepped into a vacant spot in the street and straddled my track bike. Looking down, as I clipped a foot into a pedal, I heard horns honking, car engines revving and worn brakes squealing. Finding a break in the flow, I pushed a pedal down and lurched forward, I didn't know which direction I was going, nor did I care. I only sought a place more placid to gather myself and set my bearings. 
There was comfort in pedaling. That cyclic motion and rhythm was like a warm blanket of familiarity in an otherwise foreign scene. I made my way to the East river and sat down with my map. I had to be in the Bronx by 5pm to meet friends for dinner; that gave me 6 hours to shoot, ride, eat, exist and disappear in the sea. I smiled when the first rain drops splattered against my map. "This is gonna' be good." I thought. 
Mouse at bottom of escalator - one of my favorite photos from the weekend.
From Manhattan, I pedaled through heavy rain, north into Harlem. I didn't care; I had a spare set of clothes in my bag and the rain was warm. I stopped frequently in alleys, under bridges, on sidewalks and at loading docks. Swinging my old messenger bag around in front of me, reaching in under the flap and pulling my Pentax film camera out had become second nature to me by this point.
On my way up Malcom X Boulevard, around 150th St, I was haggled by some fellas' in Harlem when I ducked behind a dumpster to pee. "Hey! Yo, yo, yo!" they shouted and laughed from across the street while I relieved myself. To me, it's not out of scene to whiz on the street when you gotta go. For a split second I was embarrassed but only grinned to myself. I'd have called someone out too; maybe even louder! You just can't pass an opportunity like that.
The rest of my trip was full of funny little experiences. I leaned my bike against a statue in Central Park where a woman sat down and fed pigeons crumbled bread. A swarm of birds engulfed my bike while I sipped coffee and photographed the scene. 
I met all sorts of people. I used what limited Spanish I had when buying a can of juice at a bodega in Spanish Harlem. I ate my weight in thin, oily NY pizza and even bowled a few games in the Bronx with my friends on Saturday night. 
I took about 15 or 20 pictures with my point & shoot digital camera this weekend. I took about 30 clips of video that I plan on splicing into a short documentary. I shot 5 rolls of B&W film. I'm dying to get to the dark room tonight because I know that I got at least 3 amazing shots.... I'll post a few when the prints are dry.

I'm ready to move to NY.


Jul 22, 2006

New York City

Well, I'm off to NYC. I'll be on the Chinatown Bus for about 4 hours this morning and get dropped in Chinatown. Hope to get some nice photos this weekend. I'll be back Sunday night.


Jul 20, 2006

!!!!! F L O Y D !!!!!

photo by: AFP
WAY TO GO FLOYD! WHAT A COME BACK! From bonking in stage 16 and dropping to 11th place overall to kicking ass in stage 17 to upgrade to 3rd overall - DAYUM! Way to go Floyd!!!
- Mike

It's ok Floyd.

Photo by: AFP

We still love you. You're still going down in history!

All the info on Stage 16 where Floyd blew up: http://www.velonews.com/tour2006/details/articles/10479.0.html


Jul 18, 2006

A short short video...

So I was playing around with some old footage from last summer and I put together this little skid video. (click image to download) Kind of amusing. This footage is from when my little brother was in town, visiting and we were riding around the city, goofing off. I had just learned how to skid basically so my form is pretty hash.

If you dig the music (which I do!) you should check out Ali & Gipp.


Jul 17, 2006

I'll be in NYC this coming weekend.

Mission: To take as many photos as possible with my .35mm film camera (and DSLR).

Check list:

  • .35mm SLR Pentax K1000
  • Nikon D1 Digital SLR
  • Bianchi track bike (for optimal mobilization)
  • Mini disk player (loaeded with various tunes for the bus ride)
  • Celly phone
  • Map
  • One set of spare clothes in case it rains:

    • One pair undies
    • One pair socks
    • One pair shants
    • One t-shirt
    I plan on staying with good friends of ours in the Bronx saturday night and heading back to Baltimore on Sunday evening. Should be good fun!

    Here are some random NYC pics taken the last time I was there in December '05.

    Jul 16, 2006

    Perfect ride this morning.

    This morning I put in an easy 32 miles out in the county. My legs felt great by the time I got out of the city and I just had a perfect ride. Beautiful day. Now I'm off to the dark room for a few hours.

    Stats for today:
    • mileage: 31.27mi.
    • time: 1:52:31
    • Avg Speed: 16.6
    • Max speed: 42.9 (Lake Avenue)

    Jul 13, 2006

    Embedded metal....

    At work I usually have to inspect fiberglass components to ensure the proper placement of embedded metal stud/tapping plates. I see tons of items embedded in the city streets every day on my way to/from work. Here's an actual bicycle pedal that's been smushed into the street.

    Yesterday I rode my new carbon fiber road bike to work and back. I love this bike. I don't think I'll take it through the ghetto ever again though. Too many pot holes etc. I want to keep it nice. I tried to go straight to work and straight home but did stop downtown and take a couple pictures in an alley.


    Jul 10, 2006

    Gettysburg & back...put in 120 Miles...

    I definitely set a new distance record for myself yesterday. I left downtown Baltimore at 11am and pedaled north. I took my usual route out into the county and into Owings Mills. From there I took Rt 140 (Reisterstown Road) which is the Hanover Pike, all the way into Hanover, PA. After refueling at a 7/11 (Two big bite hot dogs and a Poweraid) I hooked west on Rt 116 and took it the last 15 miles into Gettysburg.

    Gettysburg National Military Park was pretty amazing. I squinted my eyes and tried to envision what it must have been like back then, as I slowly rolled through the very same battle fields. The battles took place on the first three days of July in 1863, so the weather must have been about the same as it was while I rolled along... except I was wearing extra light breathable material and they were wearing heavy wool uniforms... I tried to imagine how about 51,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or unaccounted for in those three days. ... amazing.

    After a powerful stay at the battle fields I headed back to Hanover for more fuel before I headed south to Baltimore. A Snickers bar and another Poweraid would get me going again. The going was much slower on the way home. My legs were getting pretty tired. My shoulders were pretty sore from hunching over the bars for so many hours but I trudged along and kept reeling in the pavement.

    I had one flat tire on the way home. A pinch flat cause by a sharp rock or shard of metal delayed my slow crawl home by 5 minutes. I didn't mind, I swapped the tube out and was on my way.

    By the time I reached Owings Mills I was just about lifeless. I was turning the cranks with all the ferocity of a limp noodle. It was 8pm. I decided to take the train home. Luckily for me, I live right on the train line so I had only to pay the $1.10 fare to get dropped off at my door!

    All totaled; I put in 120 miles and spent 9.5 hours in the saddle.

    Ready to do it again (in a couple weeks)